Why I Keep Coming Back to Faith and Religion

Because there’s nothing else more interesting to talk about, that’s why. Politics you say?

Politics is boring and means nothing in the long run. Obama will win the presidency and things will go on as they always have; the rich get richer, the middle class will still exist from paycheck to paycheck, while the poor in this country will starve as millions of dollars go overseas to enhance the coffers of corrupt regimes.But HEY, we can “dialogue” with those corrupt regimes and all will be swell. What’s so new about that? We have no part in this process and to paraphrase Obama, the reason I turn to religion is because there ‘ain’t nothing else to take my ‘flustrations’ out on, ‘ya know?’ Well, I agree. Without my religious studies, I’ve become downright BORING!! Without scriptures to study, I have no interest in studying ANYTHING! At what point do you stop fighting and go with the flow?

But seriously, I don’t think losing one’s religion is all that exciting. In fact, my struggles to define my faith have provided some of the juiciest moments in my life. My struggles with people in church has been the most rewarding. It occurred to me that, while I have been making a show of looking for another job, I have long forgotten why I took my present job to begin with. I was sick of academia, sick of politics inside the university, sick of the state system that sucks you dry and leaves you with nothing. I took the job I am in now because it’s freedom personified. This church taught me that there is freedom to believe, freedom of movement, freedom of thought and leisure time outside of work. Yes, and freedom to believe the way I want to. I don’t have to pretend that I believe the party line. I also realized that I am far from a humble person. My chief sin in life is pride. I take so much pride in myself sometimes that I can’t see what a shitty job I’m actually doing at my workplace. I feed off the office gossip. I revel in talking about people needlessly. Let’s face it, there are always some people that we work with or that we know that make us worse persons not better ones. I am also touchy about being acknowledged for my accomplishments, whatever those may be. I have an inflated sense of self-importance and for some reason, and I’m always thinking that moving elsewhere will take care of all that. Says who? I will just take my shitty attitude with me somewhere else. How long before I start moaning over there?

On another point, I’m not sure who commented here on the blog about the fact that my dreaming about my former pastor is perhaps a step toward nudging me to reconciliation. What keeps us (read: me) from taking those steps? Pride of course. Insistence that I was completely right and she was completely wrong. Insistence that I knew better than she did about church matters. Pride in my importance and in my perceived role in the church. It’s the mistaken notion that I was a valued member when really, I was probably the patsy to bring the axe down. I actually wrote the pastor an email this morning acknowledging my complicity in the church ganging up on her at the Pastoral Relations meeting fiasco that started it all. I could lay the blame at the church’s feet because they did spur me on, but afterwards I felt about 1/2 inch tall. Who was I to be spokesperson and “correct” others? Yet, I spent hours on the phone listening to complaints so that I could exercise that spirit of correction on their behalf. So, why do I feel so shitty about it? I also actually miss her company, even though she had some things to repent of as well. But you know what? I’m not good at reconciliation. I’m only good for breaking off what doesn’t work for me.

So, I think I will refocus, with a new and improved lens, my study of religion and my nurturing of my own spirituality in whatever form that comes in. If it’s in the bible, great. If it’s in the Upanishads, who cares? I’m done fighting the unwinnable fight about dogma and doctrine and truth claims that can never be proven. Dogma’s neither here nor there anyway. It’s all about how we allow grace to flow through our relationships isn’t it? I need to learn to keep the tap of grace flowing through me and not allow it to stop with me. I’m spiritually clogged. If I want to keep the bible as my spiritual Drane-O then who does it hurt? 🙂 Blessings!

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